No-brainer Ways AI Can Level the Playing Field For SMBsCain Chen
Large corporations have been capitalizing on the advantages of artificial intelligence (AI) for years. Smaller businesses and startups have traditionally lacked the capital and know-how to match them. But that’s changing – fast.
Recent data shows roughly a quarter of businesses are already using AI in some aspect of their business.
One big reason? You no longer need deep pockets or an advanced computer science degree to power your business with AI. Use this primer to see where you could increase your profitability, too.
What is AI?
The official definition of Artificial intelligence (AI) is a wide-ranging branch of computer science concerned with building smart machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence.
You might recognize AI in your life through things like: voice assistant technology (Alexa, Siri), robo-advisors, chat bots, email spam filters, or Spotify recommendations.
Most notably, AI thrives off large datasets, revealing usable insights companies can leverage to automate manual tasks, make predictions about their business, or better analyze incoming information.
What once required a dedicated data scientist can now be accomplished using different AI solutions. And it’s not difficult to envision a future in which artificial intelligence and small business are synonymous.
What’s at Stake?
Small businesses have more competition than ever. Even if you’ve somehow managed to corner the local market, ecommerce is literally everywhere.
Between Shopify, Etsy, and Amazon, consumers can get almost anything online from anywhere in the world – no matter the type of good or service. To stand out online, small-to-medium sized businesses are realizing they need to level up or risk getting pushed out.
According to Entrepreneur, “The stakes couldn’t be any higher to grow and retain customers — in some cases existing customers represent 40 percent of revenue — and AI is going to help level the marketing playing field.”
How Can SMBs Leverage AI?
AI tools are increasingly accessible at more cost-effective price points. It’s encouraging strategic SMBs to look at where they can recoup the most ROI across their organizations.
One department that comes up a lot: marketing. With the help of AI tools that harness big data and data intelligence, marketers have been able to better audit their traffic, personalize content in-real time, and invest in their most high performing ads and channels. By becoming more intentional and strategic with their ad spend, they can save more on content creation and make more in sales.
“Fifteen percent [of SMBs] were adding AI to their marketing and sales tool kits to get a more accurate handle on important trends and hard-to-pinpoint metrics such as customer sentiment,” based on research from AI and data analysis consultancy, Unsupervised.
Other small business use cases for AI identified in the same study include:
- Product and service development (21%)
- Operational strategies (21%)
- Content marketing creation (47%)
- Help desk and customer service bots (44%)
- Inventory management (35%)
- Cybersecurity (29%)
If you’re looking to make this the year you kick off your AI journey, remember, you don’t have to do it all at once. Start with a simple entry point for something you can instantly and affordably implement. Chat bots are a popular choice, especially for lean teams. Try linking it to your social media accounts to make immediate contact with your customers 24/7.
The takeaway: AI isn’t just for large corporations with billion dollar budgets. Even SMBs with modest capital can harness the potential of tools like AI-driven marketing to outpace the competition.
Content created and provided by ONEAFFINITI.